As businesses grow the demands for network storage increase, they follow a natural
progression of storage environments. As direct-attached storage (DAS) on their Windows
servers becomes insufficient, businesses frequently move on to network attached
storage (NAS) or storage area networking (SAN).
The full promise of storage not directly-attached to the server is best fulfilled
by implementing a SAN, which has advantages in performance, reliability, availability,
But the overwhelming benefit of SAN storage often gives storage administrators the
false impression that by simply implementing a SAN and following the vendor's instructions,
they will achieve the best possible performance and reliability in their Windows
Read more on I/O optimization software to drive SAN performance
How do I get the most performance from my SAN?
At some point a SAN administrator will realize that the SAN storage is no longer
performing as well as it once did. Investigating the cause of the performance slowdown
usually indicates problems with free space or available storage.
The administrator may wonder what is causing all the unexpected I/O, and increasing
the amount of storage available is usually the easiest solution. However, in many
cases adding storage is unnecessary because storage on the SAN is not the problem.
One of the most significant issues, and the most unrecognized, is the excessive
amount of unnecessary I/O in the SAN environment. With the implementation of a SAN,
many Windows Server administrators believe that excessive I/O, which they accepted
and dealt with when using DASD storage, has gone away.
Storage admins often overlook excessive I/O when evaluating the problem of reduced
SAN efficiency. When SAN performance problems are noticed, the knee jerk reaction
is to add additional storage, with the presumption that the lack of free space is
causing the SAN to slow down. However, both overall performance and storage efficiency
can be affected by the tidal wave of unnecessary I/O that occurs when Windows Server
writes data out to storage, regardless of whether that storage is DASD, NAS, or
Effects of Excessive I/O on SAN storage
The effects of excessive I/O in SAN storage often manifest in reduced application
performance and inefficient use of storage. Application response times begin to
degrade, the time necessary to load large files and applications grows longer, and
the overall user experience is negatively impacted.
End-users begin to feel that their computer is slowing down, leading to help desk
calls with complaints about network performance or other problems. The reality is
that the massive amount of unnecessary I/O is causing data manipulation times to
increase to the point where the delay becomes perceptible to the end-user.
V-locity® I/O optimization software
uniquely addresses the unnecessary I/O patterns of reads and writes by aggregating
data on writes to perform sequentially while caching reads on available server memory
without contention to the application. As a result, V-locity boosts application
performance by 50% or more by (1) maximizing the efficiency of every single I/O
from write requests that leave the server and (2) caching the most active data from
read requests using available server memory.
Read I/O Optimization – Much of the I/O traffic moving through
the infrastructure shares similar data, yet every byte of that data travels the
entire distance from server to storage and back for every I/O request, even when
it is frequently accessed data. IntelliMemory™ technology addresses this read request
inefficiency by caching the most active data in the server's available memory. Should
an application require more memory, V-locity serves memory back to the application
to ensure there is never a case of memory starvation or resource contention. Condusiv
Technologies' self-learning caching algorithms have set the gold standard for the
industry as they are OEM'd by eight of the top ten largest PC manufacturers in the
Write I/O Optimization – V-locity's IntelliWrite®
technology optimizes I/O write operations, eliminating the performance penalties
associated with the Windows OS, splitting files into pieces and writing each piece
to a different logical location within the SAN or NAS. V-locity is aware of space
allocation and aggregates writes to behave sequentially—requiring less I/O for every
file written. Subsequent reads also benefit, since only minimum I/O is required
to fulfill the request. As a result, only productive I/O requests are processed
across the entire infrastructure, enabling more data to be processed in the same
amount of time.
V-locity I/O optimization is tailored for virtual environments that leverage a SAN
or NAS as it proactively provides I/O benefit—improving storage performance and
benefiting advanced storage features like snapshots, replication, data deduplication
and thin provisioning. Since V-locity optimizes I/O at the server level, it is complementary
to all SAN and NAS storage systems and media types (e.g., HDD or SSD).
Download a trial of V-locity and put it to the test in your real-world